I have a friend who is a member of the Chelsea Piers sports complex, and she invited me to work out with her there. I always wondered how those who live in a sea of concrete managed to enjoy outdoor activities; now I know. Chelsea Piers has everything you can imagine: sand volleyball, climbing wall, golf range, basketball courts, baseball, skating, golf, gymnastics, even a film studio. The complex covers 30 acres of waterfront on the Hudson, and it is absolutely amazing.
After our workout, we went running on the running/cycling path alongside the piers, and even though I was hesitant to run at night for safety reasons, I felt pretty safe.
I'm not sure how far we ran, but it was all the way to Battery Park. (My friend is training for the Iron Man; and even though we didn't run that far, she nearly killed me...) I've heard that the path goes uptown, too, to W 57th St.
Beside the path is a structure inclosed in netting where trapeze lessons are given. I felt like I lost my stomach every time someone would miss grasping the other trapeze artist's arms. We also saw Donald Trump's Yacht (he was having a party on it that night) docked at one of the piers. Quite lovely.
Equipment: Bring your running shoes and a friend who is already a member. Towels, shampoo, hair dryers, and soap are supplied.
Getting there is half the fun--and most of the workout. From the Web site are these directions:
"The M23 bus crosses Manhattan on West 23rd Street and stops directly in front of the northern entrance to Chelsea Piers. The M14 bus crosses Manhattan on 14th Street and stops at 18th Street in front of the southern entrance to Chelsea Piers. The M23 and M14 buses connect with all of Manhattan's north-south bus routes and subway lines.
N, R - Fifth Avenue
F, PATH - Sixth Avenue
1, 9 - Seventh Avenue
C, E - Eighth Avenue"
If you could understand all that, you wouldn't need directions. You'd already know where this place is.
There are two options for participating in this event: running as a participant or support the runners as a spectator. Either way, it's a fun way to be in New York. The event is celebrated annually in November, so if you missed this year, there's always next year. Everybody who was in this marathon ran from the Verrazano Bridge to the Central Park, where the finish line was. The best thing about this race is that anybody from any country who's 18 and older can run in this race, including those in wheelchairs. For me, I'm just staying on the sideline, cheering for the runners as they pass the streets in New York City.
Equipment: As a spectator, make sure to wear the appropriate attire (if it's cold, bring a jacket and so on ). As a runner, maybe running attire ??
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park at 86 Street is the jogging center on Manhattan.
Lots of joggers. A very serious bunch.
Run counter- clockwise.
Distance around 1.57 miles: Source a lady jogger , Aug.17, 2004 , in an emphatic manner. We could only assume she was right.
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir as it is officially called, is THE place to go jogging in New York.
The Main entrance to the jogging track is at East 90th Street, but you can join it at any number of places.
The 1.58 mile track is almost always busy with joggers and noticable presence of police patrols is welcoming.
The views over to the skyline of New York is quite unsupassed.
I used it to complete my 'depletion run' a week before the 2002 NY marathon. As I was running for about three hours it was interesting to see how the type of jogger changed between about 7AM and 10Am in the morning. To begin with, it was all high powered execs in the latest gear, then a few more 'serious' runners and by 10AM I was jogging with the hoards of little old ladies taking their constitutional.
Just one tip - always run anticlockwise ! or you will gain the wrath of other joggers.
I completed the New York Marathon in 2002. It was a terrific experience, stood with the thousands of other runners at 'the narrows' bridge ready to tackle the course.
At that moment the famous Sinatra song was blasted out of the loudspakers, what a buzz, and we were shortly on our way.
Fifth avenue in Brooklyn was the best part of the course with innumerable churches sending out the choirs to sing as we passed, and a very encouraging crowd shouting "Way to go". Odd really when several people are directly in front of you heading down the same street !
This section was also very poiniant when you get to talk to fundraisers who had put photographs of friends or relatives on their backs who had perished in 9/11 atrocity.
I made it in the end - the lush green of Central Park was very welcome.
P.S I think it is an urban myth that the quickest mile of the Marathon is the one where you run through the Bronx !
For a number of years now a 'Friendship run' has been organised on the Saturday morning before the running of the New York City marathon on the Sunday.
It begins, highly appropriately at the United Nations building and ends up in Central Park.
Many people turn out in Fancy dress especially for the event. The picture I've used come courtesy of the Breast cancer appeal - a very worthwhile charity to support generously.
When I did the race in 2002, I spent some time running with a blind Japanese Sumo wrestler - where in life are you going to get an experience like that ?
We were preparing for a marathon while we lived in New York, so we were always on the lookout for places where we could go for a long run without having to deal with traffic (stopping at every intersection would have driven us crazy!).
On weekends, Central Park’s roads are closed to traffic, and the big loop is exactly six miles around, which was perfect for our needs. There are all kinds of other loops measured out, too: you can pick up a map at the Road Runners stand at the entrance around 90th St, on the east side. There are also lots of other runners out here, so you can pace yourself, and get silent encouragement from the local running community!
We also used the running/walking path along the East River north of the 59th St bridge, too: just past the bridge, there’s a concrete path leading uphill for a short distance, then it leads down to the river’s edge, and the track continues until at least 125th St, which was the furthest our runs along there ever required (that distance is a good three miles one way). Parts of the track in the mid-80s are very popular with dog walkers (there are lots of access points), and this part of the track was featured at the beginning and end of the Spike Lee movie ‘25th Hour’ if you’re interested in seeing what it looks like!
There’s also another track that leads south from about 34th St along the East River, and which, one way or another, goes almost all of the way around the tip of Manhattan back up to 34th St on the west side. There are one or two interruptions, and it can be crowded in Battery Park, but if you really need to put in the miles, and don’t want to be doing multiple loops of the Park, try this option.
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